Date/time: 9:30 a.m. Saturday
The gist: Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock talked about his new reality series, “Connected” (AOL’s first long-form series) premiering Mar. 31 on AOL. The program will be released weekly in four episode batches. The series gives subjects video cameras and asks them to document their lives — and the lives of friends and family with whom they interact — for six months. The disparate subjects include a standup comic, a disc jockey, a publicist, a couple trying to get pregnant through in-vitro fertilization, and a New York City club owner whose girlfriend is actress Susan Sarandon. Participants, Spurlock said, are getting involved to tell a smart story, not because they hope to walk away with a pile of money. “People get incredibly honest; they open up to the camera,” the filmmaker said. In fact, the series lost a couple of subjects early on because of friends and family members who found the ever-present camera to be too intimate. The series contains drama, but it is focused on conflict and resolution, not the vicarious thrill of watching a train wreck. The discussion veered into other areas including content delivery, binge-watching and spoilers, story-length and other topics.
Takeaways: Spurlock said that television has gotten smarter and audiences want reality television to do the same. Because of years of self-produced, online video, audiences have become accustomed to amateur, hand-held camera work and don’t mind it as long as it tells a good story. “We’ve come full circle,” in that regard, he said.